Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Ilya Kaler (violin)

Profound in spirit and monumental in scope Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin are arguably the most difficult original solo works ever written for the violin. Their formidable technical challenges, especially the persistent use of multiple stops, are not just virtuoso features but are the natural result of the complexity of Bach’s musical ideas and his understanding of the instrument.

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JS Bach Violin Sonatas with Piano Accompaniment by Schumann

JS Bach Violin Sonatas with Piano Accompaniment by Schumann


Bach, J S:

Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Haroutune Bedelian (violin), Lorna Griffitt (piano)

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


“Christian Tetzlaff, always one of the most thoughtful, imaginative violinists, has obviously found Bach's solo works a stimulating and rewarding challenge. Technically, he's most impressive: using a modern bow, he can achieve, with each phrase, the kind of subtle give and take that's normally the preserve of the best Baroque violinists. The performances have a remarkable air of spontaneity, the result of a pervasive rubato, especially notable in the ornamental opening movements of the first two sonatas, and in the freer sections of the Chaconne. ...it's notable how Tetzlaff realises the virtuosity of Bach's violin writing - the moto perpetuo finales of the sonatas sound truly thrilling, full of temperament and fire.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2007

“At some point… every great violinist must square up to the Bach Solo Sonatas and Partitas. Tetzlaff has finally bitten the bullet - magnificently. Among other modern instrumental versions Julia Fischer's 2004 recording… sets much store in maintaining an even beauty of tone. Tetzlaff is edgier. He takes more risks, probes deeper, shows greater stylistic awareness and is refreshingly rooted in the rhetoric of the dance movements which lend a French accent to the Partitas...” BBC Music Magazine, September 2007 ****

“Christian Tetzlaff, always one of the most thoughtful, imaginative violinists, has obviously found Bach's solo works a stimulating and rewarding challenge. Technically, he's most impressive: using a modern bow, he can achieve, with each phrase, the kind of subtle give and take that's normally the preserve of the best Baroque violinists. His chord playing, too, shows wonderful control; in the more densely polyphonic pieces – the Chaconne and the fugues in the three sonatas – it seems there's often little choice between aggressive accentuation and rhythmic distortion caused by spreading the chords. Tetzlaff, however, manages to avoid both pitfalls, with varied arpeggiation that never fails to take account of the music's rhythmic requirements.
The performances have a remarkable air of spontaneity, the result of a pervasive rubato, especially notable in the ornamented opening movements of the first two sonatas, and in the freer sections of the Chaconne. There's a sense of line and balance that ensures that each departure from metronomic regularity sounds entirely natural, unlocking the music's expressive potential. This is even felt when, in a few movements in the partitas, the dance character suggests a more regular, metrical pulse. Apart from this, it's notable how Tetzlaff realises the virtuosity of Bach's violin writing – the moto perpetuo finales of the sonatas sound truly thrilling, full of temperament and fire. Do investigate this outstanding set.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2007

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


John Holloway (violin)

“The most important single book in violin literature” (John Holloway)

“Holloway… uses rubato continually: notes extended for expressive emphasis are balanced by moments where the music flows forward unimpeded. This is heard most impressively in the florid introductory adagios to the first two sonatas; the aim is to bring out the music's rhetorical, expressive character and Holloway succeeds brilliantly. In the more energetic music, he suggests the passionate quality of a good live performance - the moto perpetuo finale to the First Sonata is extremely exciting and tension builds powerfully in the passages in the Third Sonata's fugue with reiterated open strings.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2006

GGramophone Awards 2007

Finalist - Baroque Instrumental

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


“Beautiful violin playing. Beautiful Bach playing. Beautiful recording. Beautiful presentation.” The Strad

ABC Classics Richard Tognetti Bach - ABC4768051

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J S Bach - Sonatas & Partitas

J S Bach - Sonatas & Partitas


Bach, J S:

Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Sonata for Violin & Harpsichord No. 3 in E major, BWV1016

Sonata for Violin & Harpsichord No. 4 in C minor, BWV1017


Arthur Grumiaux (violin) & Egida Giordani Sartori (harpsichord)

"Grumiaux comes closer than any other violinist I have heard to an ideal performance ... There is a kind of honesty to Bach's intentions here ... that I find deeply impressive and often very exciting." Gramophone

“Exceptionally fine performances of Bach's masterpieces in recordings that still sound great. Grumiaux combines integrity with virtuosity, while his sense of musical architecture underpins the direction and pacing of each piece.” BBC Music Magazine, October 2006 *****

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Saphir Productions - LVC1030

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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


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Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006

Bach, J S: Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin, BWV1001-1006


Gidon Kremer (violin)

“…there is often an expressive intensity about his approach which leaves us in no doubt about the depth of his feelings.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 ***

“Are a beautiful sound and a warm, singing tone as important to you as intelligent, stylish interpretation in Bach's Sonatas and Partitas? If so, you probably won't sympathise with Gidon Kremer's seeming determination to bypass his instrument in pursuit of musical truths, nor the hard-hitting, raw, squeezed-out quality of many notes above the stave and loud broken chords (although Kremer's intonation is, for the most part, absolutely dead-on).
The utterly unprettified G minor and C major Sonatas' adagios, for example, are brisker and grittier than what one usually hears.While many treat the B minor Partita's opening Allemande as an expansive aria, Kremer's headlong tempo, emphatic double-dotting and pronounced dynamic contrasts realise the music's French ouverture implications, making it easy to slip into the following Double movement unnoticed. Following a dazzling sprint through the Presto Double Kremer reduces the Sarabande and Double to a studied and rather precious whisper.
Kremer shapes the three sonatas' fugues in large, dramatic arcs, intensified by subtle tempo fluctuations. His unusually soft playing of the D minor Chaconne's most virtuoso passages convinces more than his dynamic exaggerations in bars 32-33. Similarly, the E major Partita's archly phrased Gavotte and Rondeau contrast with Kremer's imaginatively inflected, tough, driving dispatch of the Preludio.
With Kremer's earlier solo Bach set unavailable, his equally controversial yet more evolved (and better engineered) remakes offer ample food for thought, if not quite a first choice.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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